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How to Launch a Club Rewards Program


Rewards programs are the No. 1 digital engagement tool for health clubs this year. The best rewards programs are “mobile,” meaning that they utilize members’ smartphones for interactivity. Since a mobile rewards program integrates directly with a club’s mobile app, it seamlessly tracks member activities and automatically rewards them with points that they can redeem through the app for club merchandise, free classes or other prizes. Because your members always carry their smartphones, mobile rewards programs have a much higher engagement than traditional web and paper-based ones.

Interested in launching a mobile rewards program for your club? Here are some tips to get started:

  1. Make sure it’s easy to use — for your members and your staff.

Having a rewards program that’s easy for members to use is a no brainer. But implementing one that’s easy for club staff as well often gets overlooked. By using a rewards program that smoothly integrates with your club’s mobile app and member management system, your staff can track members’ points without having to learn new software or do extra manual work tracking it themselves.

  1. Use mobile fitness tracking to increase member engagement.

With a smartphone-centric mobile rewards program, you can directly integrate with the apps and wearables that your members use every day. Members can also automatically earn points by using your club’s app to check-in or track their run on a treadmill. This increases engagement by making it easier for your members to earn rewards points.

  1. Have a revenue-oriented rewards program strategy.

You can also use your rewards program to increase revenue. By offering a large amount of reward points for referring new members to your club, you can incentivize your current members to bring in prospects at a far lower cost than running a traditional advertising campaign. You can also encourage members to sign up for classes or personal training sessions.

  1. Don’t be stingy!

What is the lifetime value of your average member? $200? $900? Whatever it is, it isn’t worth being stingy with your rewards. Imagine if a well-run mobile rewards program extends the average membership length by just one month. That is already a significant ROI for your club. New member referrals for the price of giving out a t-shirt or smoothie could also be a big revenue generator. When you’re choosing prizes, most of them should be club related (for example, club merchandise or a personal training session). However, don’t be afraid to splurge on a big prize to motivate members — an iPad Mini can go a long way.


Greg Skloot is VP Growth for Netpulse, the #1 provider of mobile apps for health clubs, and can be reached at gskloot@netpulse.com. Learn more at www.netpulse.com


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